June 23, 2014
USA vs. Portugal: ESPN’s Highest-Rated World Cup Match
According to Forbes, the USA versus Portugal soccer game was the highest rated World Cup match ever for ESPN. The match pulled a 9.1 Nielsen overnight rating, the highest ever overnight rating for a World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2.
According to Nielsen, the match ranks as the third-highest men’s World Cup match of any round on any ESPN network — tied for ABC’s USA vs. Ghana round of 16 match in 2010; and behind ABC’s presentations of the 1994 World Cup final featuring Brazil vs. Italy (12.8 overnight rating), and the 1994 USA-Brazil round of 16 match (10.4 rating).
The U.S. team nearly won the match when they were up 2-1 with under 30 seconds left until Cristiano Ronaldo passed the ball to teammate Silvestre Varela who headed it into the goal resulting in a 2-2 draw.